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What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Every war or catastrophe movie has this scene where our actor wakes up startled from sleep,  covered in sweat,  gasping hard for breath.  What seems merely as a recollection of old memories is a disorder called “post traumatic stress disorder“.

It is the reaction a person develops to a profound tragic event he has been through, which has been excessively stressful and traumatic like war,  rape, etc.

The person may develop this after a period of 6 months or more after the incident.

What are the causes of PTSD?

  1. Natural calamities like flood, earthquake, etc.
  2. War, bomb blasts, terrorist attacks
  3. Rape, accidents, etc.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

  1. The person may develop recurrent recollections of that event like flashbacks or may see it in his dreams.
  2. He seems to re-experience that event.
  3. The person avoids any place, person or incident that might remind him of the incident.
  4. Anxiety.
  5. The person might forget part of the stressful event.
  6. Constant feeling of numbness and inability to experience a pleasure.

Also Read: Need for Support Groups for PTSD in Indian Elderly

What is the treatment for PTSD?

  1. Supportive physiotherapy
  2. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which aims at reducing unhelpful behaviors, improve emotional responses to stressful situations and help cope with the tragedy.
  3. Medicine: Antidepressants

Also Read: Caregiving guide for elderly patients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

How can PTSD be prevented?

  • The anticipation of hazards and taking steps to prevent them
  • Mitigation of hazards
  • Early and quick relief response
  • Disaster management drills in areas where the chances of such hazards are high

 

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